By Liz Stern
As you pack your beach bag or your suitcase this summer, don’t forget to throw in your copy of To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee!
New-York Historical Society’s Reading into History program is partnering with Facing History & Ourselves in a summer-long online book discussion group for 12 –16 year-olds on Goodreads. FH&O works to empower students and young people to be active, responsible decision-makers, and they created a curriculum to teach To Kill a Mockingbird as a novel, a historical document, and a source of larger moral questions.
Harper Lee’s 1960 Pulitzer Prize-winning novel is on many schools’ summer reading lists. So take advantage of this interactive and enriching way to engage in this classic story with other teens and their families. Educators from both institutions will host the online conversation. Prompt questions, historical context, videos, and artifacts will help inspire deeper analysis and thought. For example, check out this clip from the PBS documentary Hey, Boo: Harper Lee & To Kill A Mockingbird on the Facing History & Ourselves website in which cultural icons discuss what it was like to read this book for the first time.
To make the book discussion experience even more unique, families are invited to the New-York Historical Society to participate in a large-scale Reading into History teach-in on September 20. This interactive program will include presentations and small group discussions to explore the enduring themes and history in the book.
Here’s how to participate:
- Purchase or borrow To Kill a Mockingbird and start reading.
- Join the Goodreads group called “New-York Historical Society Reading into History” (click the tab called “Groups” after searching group name or click HERE).
- Introduce yourself and set your Goodreads email preferences to stay updated on the group discussion.
- Keep contributing to the discussion throughout the summer! The conversation will grow as we read through the book.
- Come to our teach-in on September 20 here at the New-York Historical Society!
If you have any questions, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.